“To live well differs from living extravagantly; for the first comes from moderation and a sufficiency and good order and frugality but the other comes from intemperance and luxury and want of order. If then you want to live well, do not seek to be noticed for living extravagantly.” – Epictetus
Keeping up with the Joneses. That old colloquialism that still rings true for many of us. In most of us, perhaps all of us to a certain extent, there is a strong desire to fit into our social circles and a big way to do that is to acquire the same things that others in our social network possess. It gives us common ground, a shared experience, something to form a bond over. In many ways this is not such a bad thing.
But like so many things in life, if we allow our desire to fit in and bond with our peers to control us we will make decisions that ultimately harm us and pull us away from living well.
We don’t control what our friends and neighbors do, we don’t control how they think of us and therefore we do not ultimately control how we fit into our social circles. Instead, we control how we act, how we think, and how we see the things happening around us. We control how far we allow ourselves to go in fitting in with our peers. We control how we allow the moments where we will not fit in to dictate to our emotions.
If we choose to set an example of living well, it might take time, but eventually we will find ourselves surrounded by like minded peers.
Virtus Fortis Vocat